YouTube, Privacy, & Copyright

embedded video imageEver post a video to YouTube? Ever embed a YouTube video in your blog or webpage? Have you ever viewed a YouTube video that may have come from a movie or television show protected under copyright?

Viacom, owner of movie studio Paramount and MTV Networks, has been pursuing a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube and its parent, Google, since March 2007. An issue is whether YouTube is protected by the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

On July 1st 2008, Judge Louis Stanton (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York) ordered Google to release data including copies of all videos that were once available for public viewing on but later removed and the “logging” database that contains information about each instance when a video is watched, either through YouTube or through embedding on another site. The logging database includes data such as usernames of YouTube viewers and users’ computer IP addresses.

UWW students and staff can read this latest decision in the legal research database LexisNexis Academic (search for 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50614).

Further information can be found in magazine, law review, and newspaper articles. For example, search ProQuest Newsstand Complete to find related New York Times articles such as “Google Told To Turn Over User Data Of YouTube” in the (July 4th, p.C1) and “Google Takes Step on Video Copyrights” (Oct 16, 2007, p.C7).

About Barbara

I am a Reference & Instruction librarian, head of that department in Andersen Library, an associate professor, and a member of the General Education Review Committee and Faculty Senate. I've been working at UW-W since July 1, 1990.
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One Response to YouTube, Privacy, & Copyright

  1. Ronna says:

    An updated article is in the New York Times (July 16, 2008): “YouTube Agrees to Share Viewer Data.” It states, among other things: “Google said it had now agreed to provide . . . a large viewership database that blanks out YouTube username and Internet address data that could be used to identify individual video watchers.”

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